Knox Gel Cookery001

Welcome to this week’s Mid-Century Menu, the feature on the blog where Tom and I make a recipe from our mid-century cookbooks and eat it for dinner. No matter how horrible it is. But this week we have one big difference in our post: no Tom!

Now, I know most of you guys come here every week to see me cram some disgusting thing or another down Tom’s throat and then take pictures of his tortured facial expressions. But, I’ve been doing this to him for so long, I decided this would be the week that I would try something. That I would take one for the team.

Besides, he was at work when I made this so…yeah. Just me this time.

And, of course, I decide to try something completely crazy. Of course I do.

I didn’t know this, but apparently Knox gelatin is used as a protein drink. Which makes sense when you think about it, but…who really wants to think about it? Really?

Anyway, I was flipping through my amazing Gel-Cookery Recipe Book from Knox, which was published in 1955, when I came upon this little beauty on the last page.

Knox Gel Cookery002

I decided to go with the powdered milk version because it sounded more disgusting.  For some unknown reason.

Wait, wait. Don’t run away screaming yet. To quote Mr. Burns from the Simpsons: "If you stay you can have anything you want, even some sort of gelatin dish. It’s made from hooves, you know."

I don’t know about you guys, but I think they should have kept the calf on the front.


Yes! Just like this powdered milk!  If you squint a little bit and turn your head, it almost looks like the cow is on the Knox box.


Using a Georges Briard glass made me brave.


And then piling in all the powder made me scared again.


All mixed up and ready to go.

I lifted up the glass. I took a deep breath and took a big drink.

It was gross. Not totally gross, but pretty gross. The gelatin didn’t dissolve, of course, because there was no hot liquid to dissolve it in. So it just sort of…floated around the glass in little chewy bits. Kind of like tapioca pudding, if the tapioca was tiny and the delicious pudding part tasted like watery, fake milk.

Speaking of watery, my eyes were watering on the next gulp. It was getting nasty. I needed outside help to finish. So I called in another mid-century friend to back me up.


My trusty container of Ovaltine.

I mixed enough Ovaltine in to counteract the powdered milk taste and chugged it down.



The Verdict: Gross. I can think of a lot better ways to get protein, starting with the suggestion of using hot broth in the Knox recipe if I had to drink it. If those little blobs of chewy wouldn’t have been there, straining through my teeth, it wouldn’t have been such a hardship to drink it. Except for the powdered milk.

Note: If you are enamored with the idea of drinking gelatin for health purposes, Knox makes a special gelatin drinking powder just for you. Except it is orange-flavored, which I don’t think would go well with milk powder. At all.